Without a properly functioning dispute process, the obligations in a trade agreement may not be worth much. As part of the NAFTA renegotiation, the NAFTA parties should try to fix certain flaws in the NAFTA Chapter 20 dispute settlement process that emerged a few years after NAFTA came into force. Chapter 20 was used regularly in its early years, but usage dropped considerably after panel selection was blocked in a case involving US restrictions on Mexican sugar. In this paper, we examine recent innovations on panel selection in the TPP, CETA, and JEEPA dispute provisions, and draw from those to develop principles that can guide revisions to the NAFTA Chapter 20 panel selection process.
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